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92% of inmates tested at Indiana prison are reportedly positive for COVID-19

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At least 92% of tested inmates at Indiana's Westville Correctional Facility are positive for COVID-19, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

What are the details?

Participants at a hospital planning committee meeting said that 126 of 137 tested inmates are positive for the virus.

"Overall," the outlet reports, "more than half (55%) of all confirmed state prison cases are in Westville."

The Indiana Department of Corrections reported that the medium-security prison has an inmate population of about 3,200.

Last week, the Michigan City News-Dispatch reported that La Porte County Commissioner Shiela Matias said that the correctional facility was "seeing a large increase in positives."

"The staff there and at [Indiana State Police] are our neighbors and family members; please keep those in both Westville and ISP, as well as in health care facilities across the county in your thoughts and prayers," she added. "State DOC, state Health Department and state leaders are hearing our concerns loud and clear and are taking action."

Earlier in April, Indiana Department of Corrections Commissioner Rob Carter said that COVID-19 is the "challenge of our times."

"Having a loved one in prison only adds to that uncertainty," he added, and insisted that the department of corrections is taking all possible precautions to "resist the spread of COVID-19 and limit its impact on those incarcerated within IDOC's juvenile facilities and prisons."

"[O]ur goal is the same as yours," he added, "To keep your loved ones safe and healthy."

What else?

The news comes amid the pandemic that spurred Attorney General William Barr to order certain facilities in hard-hit areas — such as Louisiana — to release low-level offenders because of COVID-19.

At the time of this writing, Johns Hopkins University researchers estimate that the state of Indiana has had at least 12,438 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with at least 666 deaths credited to the virus.

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